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Section: Git Manual (1)
Updated: 09/30/2007
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git-branch - List, create, or delete branches  


git-branch [--color | --no-color] [-r | -a]
           [-v [--abbrev=<length> | --no-abbrev]]
git-branch [--track | --no-track] [-l] [-f] <branchname> [<start-point>]
git-branch (-m | -M) [<oldbranch>] <newbranch>
git-branch (-d | -D) [-r] <branchname>...


With no arguments given a list of existing branches will be shown, the current branch will be highlighted with an asterisk. Option -r causes the remote-tracking branches to be listed, and option -a shows both.

In its second form, a new branch named <branchname> will be created. It will start out with a head equal to the one given as <start-point>. If no <start-point> is given, the branch will be created with a head equal to that of the currently checked out branch.

When a local branch is started off a remote branch, git can setup the branch so that git-pull(1) will appropriately merge from that remote branch. If this behavior is desired, it is possible to make it the default using the global branch.autosetupmerge configuration flag. Otherwise, it can be chosen per-branch using the --track and --no-track options.

With a -m or -M option, <oldbranch> will be renamed to <newbranch>. If <oldbranch> had a corresponding reflog, it is renamed to match <newbranch>, and a reflog entry is created to remember the branch renaming. If <newbranch> exists, -M must be used to force the rename to happen.

With a -d or -D option, <branchname> will be deleted. You may specify more than one branch for deletion. If the branch currently has a reflog then the reflog will also be deleted. Use -r together with -d to delete remote-tracking branches.  



Delete a branch. The branch must be fully merged.


Delete a branch irrespective of its index status.


Create the branch's reflog. This activates recording of all changes made to the branch ref, enabling use of date based sha1 expressions such as "<branchname>@{yesterday}".


Force the creation of a new branch even if it means deleting a branch that already exists with the same name.


Move/rename a branch and the corresponding reflog.


Move/rename a branch even if the new branchname already exists.


Color branches to highlight current, local, and remote branches.


Turn off branch colors, even when the configuration file gives the default to color output.


List or delete (if used with -d) the remote-tracking branches.


List both remote-tracking branches and local branches.


Show sha1 and commit subject line for each head.


Alter minimum display length for sha1 in output listing, default value is 7.


Display the full sha1s in output listing rather than abbreviating them.


The name of the branch to create or delete. The new branch name must pass all checks defined by git-check-ref-format(1). Some of these checks may restrict the characters allowed in a branch name.


The new branch will be created with a HEAD equal to this. It may be given as a branch name, a commit-id, or a tag. If this option is omitted, the current branch is assumed.


The name of an existing branch to rename.


The new name for an existing branch. The same restrictions as for <branchname> applies.


Start development off of a known tag

.ft C
$ git clone git:// my2.6
$ cd my2.6
$ git branch my2.6.14 v2.6.14   \fB(1)\fR
$ git checkout my2.6.14

.sp \fB1. \fRThis step and the next one could be combined into a single step with "checkout -b my2.6.14 v2.6.14".


Delete unneeded branch

.ft C
$ git clone git:// my.git
$ cd my.git
$ git branch -d -r origin/todo origin/html origin/man   \fB(1)\fR
$ git branch -D test                                    \fB(2)\fR

.sp \fB1. \fRDelete remote-tracking branches "todo", "html", "man"

.br \fB2. \fRDelete "test" branch even if the "master" branch does not have all commits from test branch.




If you are creating a branch that you want to immediately checkout, it's easier to use the git checkout command with its -b option to create a branch and check it out with a single command.  


Written by Linus Torvalds <> and Junio C Hamano <>  


Documentation by Junio C Hamano and the git-list <>.  


Part of the git(7) suite




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